This post is for my rambles and for the fangirls. Beware of spoilers ahead. It you want my non-spoiler opinions, see my review and Part I of this book here.
Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Wasn’t this sequel awesome?! In my opinion, it blew ACOTAR out of the water. I didn’t really care for the first book other than to acknowledge that Sarah J. Maas is a talented writer with a bright future ahead of her.
But there’s a lot I appreciated about this book that I’m sure many of you did as well, and I just have to gush about it to someone!
I love that the book addressed the trauma Feyre experiences from the previous book. Girl has some major PTSD going on. I think fairytale and fantasy books all too often skip of the inevitable mental issues that would be induced if this was real life. An example that comes to mind is Rapunzel. It has always bothered me that no one has really addressed how screwed up Rapunzel would be if she were a real person that had been locked away in a tower her whole life.
Feyre goes through some dark things as she rightfully should. Having innocent blood on your hands is a hard thing to live with. I loved seeing her metamorphosis through these hard times. It made her so much more real to me.
Alright, so the bad boy turned good storyline is one of my favorite tropes. But sometimes, I also find these stories to be unbelievable in their redemption of the character. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive them of their previous devious deeds and to respect them. And the thing that I like about Rhysand is that he never was actually a bad guy. He just did some loathsome things for the greater good and to protect his people, and he actually feels guilt about it. I can appreciate his delicious darkness and still respect him. I appreciate that a lot.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE AND THE REALITY OF FIRST LOVES
I like how it’s a love-triangle-but-not-really because Feyre is over Tamlin before she allows any feelings or anything to happen with Rhysand. There’s none of that annoying wishy-washy back and forth, or stringing both of them along before making a decision. Feyre leaves Tamlin and not because of Rhysand. She leaves because it’s an unhealthy relationship. I applaud her for that.
I appreciate that she not only asserts herself like a grown woman, but also how the book addresses the reality of first loves. Tamlin and Feyre loved each other no doubt about it, but it just wasn’t the best thing for either of them in the long run. I find that in literature, all too often a character’s first love is their only, eternal love. But in real life, sometimes our first love isn’t the greatest person for us. Actually I’d say that’s the reality for most of us. It takes some time for us mere mortals to sort out what we need and want in a partner. In my case, the person who is best for me was not the person I would necessarily have ever expected or imagined, but he’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.
The book also teaches the principle that in order to find long lasting, true love, you have to love yourself first. Once Feyre accepts herself the way she is, she doesn’t need Tamlin or anyone to protect her and make her feel special. Now that she doesn’t need to rely on another person to feel fulfilled, she can truly find the one to complete and enhance her life. In terms of the book, that is clearly Rhysand. Not because he’s hotter, or cooler, or even better than Tamlin, but simply because they are the most compatible and most able to grow with each other.
Great dating advice and messages, especially for teens who might be reading this book. I know when I was a teenager, nothing could convince me that my current boyfriend at the time wasn’t the one and that we wouldn’t live happily ever after. Turns out my mother was right all along.
Any who, those are my thoughts on the shin dig, and I’m happy to hear yours. Feel free to comment with your opinions on the book and its overarching themes and what you took away from it.
Tootle loo, darlings!